This session introduces you to emerging trends in educational technology, lets you assess your knowledge about 21st century literacies, and shows you how to build your own Personal Learning Network (PLN) – an important step in becoming an effective 21st century teacher/learner.

Today's Introductory Presentation can be seen at :

Where are you on the 21st Century learning continuum?
Click this link and take the survey

What are 21st Century Literacies?
Partnership for 21st Century Skills
Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century (Educause Qtrly)
NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies
AASL Standards for 21st Century Learners
David Warlick on Contemporary Literacy (may only be accessible from home)

What is Web 2.0?
Defined (Wikipedia)
"One of the most significant differences between Web 2.0 and the traditional World Wide Web (retroactively referred to as Web 1.0) is greater collaboration among Internet users and other users, content providers, and enterprises." (from
Web 2.0 implies participation.
Read this white paper by Steve Hargadon: Educational Networking:The important role Web 2.0 will play in education

Emerging Trends:
2009 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition - Key Trends
Did You Know video (Did You Know 3.0) (YouTube)
Did You Know video (Did You Know 4.0) released 9/14/09! (YouTube)

What's a PLN?
A PLN is a personal learning network. It is the books and articls you read, the professional videos you watch, the people you connect with to help you learn new things and become a better teacher. You teach each other how to use new tools or teaching strategies. You bounce ideas off each other. You share resources you discover from others. Your colleagues in the building are part of your PLN. But sometimes there are people around the globe that can help you learn things you never dreamed of. Getting connected to them helps broaden your thinking and expand your ability to engage your own students in meaningful learning.

How do I develop my own personal learning network?
1. Get connected.
2. Lurk - listen - read.
3. Comment on someone else's blog.
4. Share a resource you like.
5. Use a resource, idea, strategy, Web 2.0 tool that someone shared with you.
6. Share your experience with your network.
7. Repeat steps 1 - 6 repeatedly.

View Beth Still's video about her PLN Journey (YouTube)

Step 1: How do I get connected?
Start with one of these. Add as you get more comfortable. I started with Twitter, then began reading blogs, then joined Classroom 2.0. You decide for yourself.

A. Read/subscribe to blogs: You can do this two ways. Subscribe by email right from a blog you like or gather blog posts in a feed reader such as Google Reader (my favorite, time-saving way). To do the latter, follow the directions in this document:

Watch this video explaining what RSS feeds are: RSS in plain English by CommonCraft

Here are a few education blogs that you may want to subscribe to:
- Langwitches Blog ( - a fabulous 21C classroom teacher in action
- The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom - by Steven W. Anderson
- The FischBowl - Karl Fisch, veteran teacher and high school tech. director
- Weblogg-ed (Will Richardson) - former teacher, now presenter
- Dangerously Irrelevant (Scott McLeod, Assoc. Prof. of Educ)
- Education Innovation - a different perspective
- Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day - great source for websites to use for teaching from a teacher in the field
- Practical Theory:A View from the Classroom (Chris Lehmann, Principal Science Leadership Academy in PA)

You will be able to check your reader every day for new posts.

B. Set up a
account and begin to follow some key educators:

1. Go to and create your account. Keep your bio short but descriptive. It helps people decide if they want to follow you. Link to your school website if you have one.
2. Then go to to watch the "how to use Twitter" video and scroll through the page to look at the FAQ and other help files there. Read the protocols for tweeting.
3. I suggest you check your settings and decide if you want to keep your account public (I do because I use it almost exclusively for professional development, but be aware that anyone can then find every one of your tweets on Google).
4. You can also decide if you want to get tweets by cell phone (be sure you have unlimited text messaging service or it will cost you!). This takes a little patience to set up but it is worth it if you have certain people you want to follow during the work day...
5. Once you sign on to Twitter, you can go here and add your name to the Twitter4Teachers wiki under the appropriate heading, and find other educators you'd like to follow.
6. Send out a couple of tweets - maybe saying you are looking forward to learning from others on Twitter. Tell about something your class did that day. Send a link to a great post you found on a blog. A few good professional tweets will help people decide if they want to follow you too.
6. May I suggest you follow these rockin' educators to help you get started.
Buffy Hamilton -
Vicki Davis -
Beth Still -
Angela Maiers -
Tom Whitby -
Steven Anderson (@web20classroom) -
Joyce Valenza -

You can also follow me @debh2u and check out who I'm following.

This is one of the best resources out there for learning all about Twitter. Twitter Guidebook from Mashable

For learning about PLNs in general and seeing what other think about them and how they work, try this page PLN Resources from Vermilion Parish Schools (La) - agreat page of links about PLNs and how to get started.

C. Join an educator online community/ning such as
Classroom 2.0 or
Educator PLN
Some of the content /images on these nings are blocked by distict filters. Try them at home for best views.

D. Read some great books and articles (please add to this list as you come across good ones):
Tribesby Seth Godin
Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott
3 Ways Educators are Embracing Social Technology - from Mashable 1/10/2010